For Immediate Release
November 14, 2020
SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Local families got to load up their cars at the Eastfield Mall on Saturday, thanks to the Massachusetts Military Support Foundation.
Farmers to Families drew lines for the drive-thru distribution Saturday afternoon, with over 1,000 food kits handed out.
“When we were approached about having the drive-thru distribution, we immediately began to plan where the best location to put them was and how traffic would flow,” said the marketing manager of Eastfield Mall, Jess Kloss. “It’s been a hard year on a lot of people, and we knew we had to help the MMSF get these essential food kits to those who need them.”
There were over thirty pounds of fresh food, including fruits, veggies, milk, eggs, and meat. There are also two more events scheduled in November on the 21 and 28.
“I think we will have great success, and hopefully, we can expand and give away more kits in the future,” Kloss said. “Registration was full for this event within three days, so it shows you that there is a need.”
Organizers told Western Mass News you don't need to be a veteran to get the food. All you have to do is register online before picking up your meal. For more information and to register for a kit, you can click here.
Featured in The Cape Cod Times
New weekly Farmers to Families food program opens on Cape Cod
October 2, 2020
Organizers started distribution with 1,050 boxes on Friday, but will switch to Saturdays next week. You can pick up a box of food from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (or until they run out) on Saturdays, starting Oct. 10 and running through Oct.31, at Cape Cod Community College on Route 132.
The U.S. Farmers to Families Food Box program that has fed more than 3,000 families on the Upper Cape is now available on the Mid-Cape.
Here’s what you need to know about getting a box of food:
Who is working on this?
Don Cox, president and CEO of the Massachusetts Military Support Foundation, was awarded a local grant for the month of October. Volunteers with the Nicholas G. Xiarhos Foundation, The Family Table Collaborative, made up of Jeni Wheeler of Jeni’s Joy, the Cape Cod Culinary Incubator and the Cape Cod chapter of the American Culinary Federation are partnering with Massachusetts Military Support to feed families across the Cape.
Wheeler and Cox say the partnership works well because it allows a big organization like the military support group to get food to people who the smaller, local groups know need it.
This time, the distribution is weekly.
Organizers started with 1,050 boxes on Friday, but the distribution is switching to Saturdays next week. You can pick up a box of food from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (or until they run out) on Saturdays, starting Oct. 10 and running through Oct.31, at Cape Cod Community College on Route 132.
“We decided a weekend distribution would be better because with remote learning and working, people can’t always get away during the week,” said Wheeler , a volunteer partner with the Massachusetts Military Support Foundation.
Who is eligible?
Although it is run by the Massachusetts Military Support Foundation, food from this Farmers to Families program is available to all who need it, not just the military. There is no paperwork or income eligibility.
“This is my backyard. If I can’t care for the Cape and Islands, I shouldn’t be feeding anyone,” said Cox, a West Barnstable resident who says the Massachusetts Military Support Foundation, part of the USA national group, provided 58 tractor trailers worth of Farmers to Families food this week, with 23 of those being in Massachusetts.
What do you get?
Each family receives a 32-pound box of groceries, including cheese, produce, milk and meats, said Barnstable Town Councilor Matthew Levesque, who is a volunteer coordinator. On Friday, there were also pastries provided by the Empowerment Center on the Upper Cape military base. Families may pick up only one box, Levesque said, as suggested by guidelines from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which funds the federal program.
How do you get it?
Go in the main entrance of Cape Cod Community College, follow directions from volunteers and the 300 traffic cones to the last parking lot, where a box will be placed in your car. Lineup begins an hour before the giveaway starts.
The food is from local farms and commercial food producers, and is pretty much brands you would find in the grocery store. The federal government pays about $42 a box from federal taxes to have the items packaged for distribution.
Will this continue after October?
Cox said the program is scheduled into January, but the president has requested a look at the results at the end of October before more action is taken.
Does this replace other food programs?
No. Programs such as Wheeler’s Faith Family Kitchen, which runs a dinner program and supplies family-sized meals-to-go three times a week, are continuing.
How can I learn more?
Visit www.mmsfi.org for a full list of programs.
MASS MILITARY SUPPORT FOUNDATION RECEIVES A THREE-YEAR COMMITMENT OF FEDERAL FUNDING TO SUPPORT JOBS4VETS PROGRAM FOR HOMELESS VETERANS
Joint Base, Cape Cod - The Massachusetts Military Support Foundation has received funding from the Department of Labor for its Homeless Veterans Reintegration program. Funding will be used to provide services to reintegrate homeless veterans into meaningful employment and work to stimulate the development of effective service delivery systems that address the complex problems facing homeless veterans.
The MMSF is looking forward to expanding its job training capacity into a new, formalized program - Jobs4ourVets. MMSF will be able to offer homeless Veterans enhanced services such as career planning, comprehensive employment assessments, resume writing and job placement services.
MMSF has been committed to serving homeless Veterans in Massachusetts and beyond through its other programs - Food4Vets and Coats4Vets. This funding will support deeper connections with this population as the organization will be able to have trained, dedicated staff to manage all aspects of the Jobs4ourVets program.
Massachusetts Military Support Foundation is open to serve 383,000 Veterans and active-duty Military, and their families, who live in the Commonwealth. MMSF operates Veteran-focused Empowerment Centers on Joint Base Cape Cod and Agawam, which are open daily and provide much needed food, personal hygiene products, and many other life essentials for families, including baby items. These Centers also provide and/or connect clients to services like health care, mental health and substance abuse counseling, and job training, etc., and are proven to be a critical support mechanism to Veterans (and active-duty Military) that help keep them tied to their communities.